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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > English lessons on the phone    

English lessons on the phone


English lessons on the phone


Dear all,

I am bringing back my topic to the forum in case some colleagues who have been teaching English on the phone (and whose comments I am very much intersetd in) did not read it. I do apologise for my being insistant
My topic
 I was just wondering if some of you are teaching English to executives on the phone...
This is quite developed here in France, particularly in companies:  is it the case in your respective countries?
I am not very much in favour of this way of teaching simply because the lessons last only half an hour, and these executives are not always well involved in the learning process.... which can sometimes mean lessons cancelled at the last minute, homework not always done ....
To me  nothing can replace face to face interaction where verbal and non verbal communication play a crucial role
I would be happy to know how you generally  proceed,  in my case I send materials before lessons, start with some warm up activities, correct homework if there is any (or I would rather say if it is done), work on a specific point  (vocabulary, comprehension or grammar) but quickly  you realise time is already over...

29 Jan 2009      


I canīt say whether this method is popular in Indonesia or not, but I do know there are at least 2 companies offering this English-by-phone thingy.
As far as I know, this type of course asks the teacher to be more proactive (?), since s/he is the one who contact the student, initiate the lesson, constantly reminding the students about where they have left off, and so on.
So, CMIIW, focus would be listening speaking only.. and probably no homework.

30 Jan 2009     


The lessons are only half an hour, so the only way to compensate this is to give them some homework, which is, to me,  raher necessary  ... (to keep contact with English)

30 Jan 2009     

United States

Hi Brahim

I teach all of my lessons through skype so they are all over the "phone".  However since we are both logged on to a computer I have the advantage of being able to write words in chat (similar to the way a blackboard would be) and to send them worksheets realtime that we both look at.

Some of my students are corporate employees and some are home-makers. But since they all pay for the lessons themselves (instead of their companies) they are all very motivated and I do not have trouble getting them to do their homework.

I have some students who are only for 30 minutes and that is definitely more challenging.  I focus the lessons more than in a longer class and do either grammar or speaking or vocab but not everything. I also ask them to do homework in between classes but if they (occasionally) don īt do it, I have a contingency plan or they practice speaking and then we do error correction. 

So, I think the problem is less one of the medium (phone) than the internal motivation of the students. These students would probably not be doing homework if they were in a traditional classroom either!


16 Feb 2009